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People-friendly streets

The council wants to make our streets friendly for all, especially children, young people and the vulnerable.

Islington’s streets belong to everyone. They are a place where life happens and where the community comes together, no matter what our individual circumstances or daily routines look like. But as technology has changed, so we’ve seen more and more traffic looking for short cuts along residential streets.

Traffic on London’s residential roads has risen by 72% in the past 12 years. If this continues to increase it will create huge problems for our road network and our communities and will further damage the environment, including higher levels of air pollution, which is already a serious issue for public health.

We’ve always worked hard to make things better and have been planning initiatives to improve Islington’s streets for some time but the Covid-19 lockdown has had a big impact on the way we use our streets.

They were quieter, felt safer and journeys were quicker. Residents told us they really benefitted and were able to enjoy their neighbourhood more. But research shows that traffic volumes will continue to increase making our streets more unsafe, unhealthy, and worse than before the crisis began.

Nothing will ever be quite the same after the Coronavirus crisis, which is why now is the time to make bold changes for a safer, greener and healthier Islington.

So, we’ve taken this opportunity to look at how we can make our neighbourhoods better and safer, for living, working and playing, for everyone. Creating people-friendly streets will also help achieve our bold ambition of a net-zero carbon Islington by 2030. It is also important we follow statutory government guidance, which states that we need to take measures to encourage more walking and cycling and to enable social distancing.

We need to act quickly to harness the benefits we’ve all experienced in recent months to protect our streets and the community by not rushing back to old ways.

We want to bring life back to Islington’s streets. Taking the best of what we have learnt this year, to make things safer, healthier, greener and a fairer place for everyone.

What we’re doing

We have already started adapting Islington streets to make it easier to socially distance while walking to busy areas for essential reasons, like shopping at local businesses and we’re rolling out more changes around schools and transport hubs.

We're accelerating the rollout of the School Streets programme – with 36 school streets in Islington by the end of 2020. That’s more school streets than any other London borough.

We are introducing temporary cycle lanes and other improvements to make it easier to cycle around Islington.

And we are introducing people-friendly streets neighbourhoods, sometimes called low traffic neighbourhoods, to the borough. By installing inexpensive measures like bollards, planters and smart cameras, we are creating more space for everyone to enjoy their neighbourhoods as they walk and cycle around.

These schemes are being installed as trials and residents will be asked for their views on whether the measures should remain in place permanently. Please see the section below.

Residents and visitors will still be able access their street by motor vehicle and receive deliveries. However, it will be much harder or impossible for non-local traffic to cut through residential streets from one main road to the next.

In addition to people-friendly neighbourhoods, we are installing individual, site specific solutions to areas like Mayton Street, to make them greener and more resident friendly.

Our low traffic neighbourhoods

Main Roads

Evidence from similar projects in London shows that traffic may increase on main roads in the beginning but over time this traffic spreads out across the day, bus journey times are not significantly increased and air quality in main roads does not get worse.

Where similar schemes have been introduced elsewhere, in the UK and abroad, many have been successful with residents growing to enjoy their benefits.

For more information on main roads, visit our Frequently Asked Questions below.

Emergency services

Resident safety comes first. We work closely with the emergency services before each scheme is installed to make sure that they can still access every street as before and we’re continuing to work with them so every crew knows about the changes.

For more information on the emergency services, read our Frequently Asked Questions [PDF].

How can I get involved?

Local people know their areas best and we want to hear your views on how to make your area more people-friendly.

You can do this by visiting Islington’s Commonplace site. This site lets you drop a pin in the map of Islington then tell us your thoughts, ideas and suggestions. You can add as many pins as you like.

New surveys

We are also introducing surveys for each existing people-friendly streets neighbourhood and these are expected to be live on this site very soon.

The surveys for the schemes in Highbury West and Highbury Fields are available for residents in these areas to fill in now.

What happens next?

People-friendly neighbourhoods are being introduced on a trial basis, with a full public consultation as part of each scheme to give residents and local businesses the chance to give their views on whether the measures should remain in place permanently.

The consultation takes place 12 months into each scheme so residents and drivers have sufficient time to adjust to the changes. It’s important that we allow enough time for you to experience the changes and for traffic patterns to settle down.

All feedback will be carefully analysed and considered in the design and implementation of our plans

Frequently asked questions

Can’t find what you’re looking for? Read our answers to frequently asked questions.

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